One of the biggest decisions one will make in their lifetime is where to go to school. Whether you are 18 and graduating high school or 55 and going back for an advanced degree; this is a very important decision. Some factors may be more important than others. Depending on your age, lifestyle, degree you’re seeking, and whether you want to do an online or on campus program there are many things to consider before enrolling in school. You also need to take into consideration the entrance requirements. Of course everyone would like to have a degree from Harvard, but obviously that is not feasible for some. Many weigh their options and build an excel spreadsheet consisting of pros and cons of different schools. This is a good idea if you are researching many schools. The next step is to apply to your top five. If your get accepted to more than one school you have to look back at your spreadsheet and decide what the best choice is. Many students spend months applying to different schools.
Due to the economic conditions over the past five years many adults and young professionals decided it was in their best interest to go back to school. Whether their company was downsizing, their position was being eliminated, or they wanted to make themselves more marketable, going back to school was a priority for them. When the economy is booming, everyone seems to have a job. When everyone has a job, education is on the back burner for most. Education costs a lot of money and takes up a lot of time, especially at the graduate level. So if individuals are comfortable where they are and they are making enough money, they feel they don’t see a need to go back to school.
A few things to consider no matter what school you choose are: accreditation, duration, and price. Make sure the institution you choose is regionally accredited. This is the highest accreditation in the United States. It is similar to any state school or community college. How long is the program you are considering? If it is an undergraduate degree can you finish in less than four years? If it is a master’s degree is it available in a 12, 18, or 24 month format? Finally, price is always a huge factor when looking at different schools. What is the cost per credit hour? What is the overall cost of the program? These are very important questions when deciding on a school. You may be able to get the same type of degree online at a much cheaper price than attending classes on campus.